You Beaut Winter Bream

Our fishing guru, John “Stinker” Clarke, recommends finding the best late winter, first of spring, white bream.

This is the time of year to head to the beach in the mornings and evenings to chase a winter bream on a rising tide. Winter bream are magnificent. Big, broad shouldered, bright eyed thumpers, tenacious battlers on the end of your line and excellent performers in the kitchen. So, what makes them so different from their skinny cousins who choose to reside in the shallow waters of the estuary system?  Like the mullet and luderick before them, the bream leave the rivers and bays along our coastline and swim north as part of their life cycle. In the open ocean the bream are purged in the clean sea water and they take on a new snowy white appearance and a fresh taste.

Filleted, boned and crumbed cook the fish in hot olive oil until golden brown. Serve with a crisp salad or place on a bed of fried rice before drizzling with a sweet and sour sauce.

Best baits include pipis, worms and fresh strips of mullet. Lately the bream have been going nuts on pipis which are underfoot on Stockton Beach. Don’t be surprised to hook a tailor, salmon or a lurking mulloway. 

Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke will be a regular columnist for The Manning Community News. John can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”. Check him out on or send an email to with your information and questions. 

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